First trip to Spain

Old May 12th, 2016, 05:18 AM
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First trip to Spain

My friend and I will be in Spain for 9 days, flying into Madrid and out of Barcelona. We would like to see San Sebastian as well. How many days should we spend in each location? Help!
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Old May 12th, 2016, 05:35 AM
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How are you planning to get from Madrid to San Sebastian and from San Sebastian to Barcelona?

Are those nine full days or do they include your arrival and departure?
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Old May 12th, 2016, 05:44 AM
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In addition to sparkchaser's good questions, do you plan to rent a car around San Sebastian and see the surrounding country, or are you mostly interested in staying in San Sebastian itself?

For just San Sebastian, personally two full days was plenty for me. For Barcelona, I think three or four full days would be good for most first-time visitors, depending on how fast you like to travel (though you'll read posts here from people who could happily spend much more time there). I've only spent one day in Madrid years ago so I'm no help there.

You might search for some trip reports here to see how others have done similar trips (threads marked with the yellow globe).
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Old May 12th, 2016, 05:53 AM
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@sparkchaser, @jent103 - I imagine we will take the train to and away from San Sebastian, and possibly rent a car while there to explore surrounding areas. In my preliminary research, it didn't seem too far by train. Is this crazy?
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Old May 12th, 2016, 05:53 AM
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Oh and it's 9 full days!
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Old May 12th, 2016, 12:01 PM
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We spent 5 days in San Sebastian and I could have spent more. The Basque country is beautiful. We flew between Barcelona and San Sebastian. If it were my trip, I'd divide it between Barcelona and SS, or SS and Madrid.
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Old May 12th, 2016, 12:28 PM
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The train could be a good option, but on our trip in 2014, flying between San Sebastian (really Hondarribia) and Barcelona ended up working out better. Just a heads up.

If you plan to rent a car and explore the Basque country, splitting the time between the Basque country + one city might make more sense than trying to cram in all three, I agree.
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Old May 13th, 2016, 02:43 AM
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It's all the way in the other direction but the south of spain is also a very beautiful region to discover. Depending on when you are going (how hot it will be) you'll maybe want to spend less time in the city and more in the mountains/at the seaside.
Anyway if you're interested in visiting the south of spain, here are my recommendations:
- Sevilla (capital of Andalusia, beautiful city with a lot of Arabic influence in their architecture, due to the invasion of the Mores from the 8th century on)
- Cordoba and Granada: same as Sevilla, cities with breathtaking architecture, close to Granada is Sierra Nevada which is perfect to escape from the heath for a day and have an active day)
- Cadiz: city at the seaside which also in its surrounding area has a lot of amazing beaches to see.

Andalusia is all about festivals and events, especially in summer. It's the perfect place for dancing, eating, drinking, and discovering REAL, old Spanish traditions
I've rented bikes in some of these cities and it's an amazing way to get to know the city (cover bigger distances than by foot) more info about that here: http://bit.ly/1iISQN6
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Old May 13th, 2016, 02:56 AM
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You have very little time in three cities, dragging in the whole of the south would need a few more weeks.

You will not need a car in Madrid or Barcelona

You need a min of 3 nights in these 2 cities.

I would give the whole of the rest of the time to Basque, Bilbo/Haro (just on the edge) and SSeb would make good visits and yep you need a car here. But check rome2rio to see if (by only focusing on 2 cities) you get away from the aweful things
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Old May 14th, 2016, 05:26 AM
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No need for a car in San Sebastian, there are buses to even the tiniest village, and with only three days in this plain fantastic place, you wouldn't want to go much out of town. http://www.euskoguide.com/places-bas...stian-tourism/

Video intro: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRWCdjw1C8Q

But perhaps do a day-trip for lunch to either Getaria or Pasai Donibane/Pasajes San Juan, both are a short 30 min bus ride from San Sebastian.

Getaria is exceptional on fish and seafood. Expect something like this: http://www.thepauperedchef.com/2007/...-in-getar.html

You can also walk to Donibane in a couple of hours incl a two minute boat ride (runs all the time). Several great waterfront restaurants here: https://www.euroresidentes.com/euror...s/san-juan.htm
Restaurante Txulotxo is excellent, have splurged here on many occasions:
http://www.restaurantetxulotxo.com/
http://www.viamichelin.com/web/Resta...o-222194-41102
http://fotos.euroresidentes.com/foto...s_de_san_juan/

Could give you tons of tips about San Sebastian, based on your interests.
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